May 15, 2024

Summer Highlights in Vilnius

This summer, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, bursts into life with a series of captivating events that showcase the city’s rich cultural tapestry. From musical harmonies filling the air to vibrant celebrations of diversity and heritage, each gathering transforms the city into a dynamic festival of sounds, sights, and experiences. These events promise a blend of entertainment and enlightenment for curious visitors in the heart of Lithuania’s charming capital.

Pink Soup Fest (1 June)

The Vilnius Pink Soup Fest is an annual event that celebrates Lithuania's iconic cold pink soup, šaltibarščiai. The delightful festival is set to take place on June 1 at Tymas Market. At the festival, attendees can indulge in various versions of the traditional beetroot-based cold soup, which is a staple during the Lithuanian summer. The event not only showcases this unique dish but also includes pink-themed activities and experiences, making it a colorful and enjoyable day out. Highlights include a 50-meter slide down the Bastion Hill, a soup-inspired costume competition, and space for creativity and relaxation in the Pond Park.

Culture Night (7 June)

Held on June 7 Culture Night in Vilnius, known as Kultūros naktis, transforms the city into a lively hub of artistic activity. This event, scheduled for June when the nights are bright and warm, fills the city with music, dance, theater, cinema, photography, and state-of-the-art installations, drawing visitors from other regions and countries. During Culture Night, various venues across Vilnius, such as museums, galleries, churches, and theaters, open their doors to the public for free. Last year, the Embassy of Japan organized a procession of the traditional Japanese shrine MIKOŠI through the streets of Vilnius, the installation "Arch of Joy" was exhibited in the Town Hall square, and the futuristic art exhibition "CyberVilnius" was held at the Caffeine in Gediminas Avenue.

Lithuanian Pride (8 June)

Lithuanian Pride in Vilnius is a colorful celebration of diversity and equality, scheduled to take place on June 8. The parade is expected to draw up to 20,000 participants from across the Baltic region, serving as a powerful symbol of solidarity and resilience in support of LGBTQ+ rights. In addition to the triennial Baltic Pride, the organizer LGL has introduced Lithuanian Pride to ensure an annual Pride event in Vilnius. The event also supports the promotion of June as the global month of Pride in Lithuania, fostering discussions on equality and diversity, particularly in the workplace.

Lithuanian Song Celebration (29 June-6 July)

The Lithuanian Song Celebration, a historic event held every four years, returns to Vilnius from June 29 to July 6, celebrating its 100th anniversary. This event highlights a week of cultural activities including Dance Day, Ensembles Evening, Folklore Day, and the culminating Song Day. A record-breaking number of participating choir performers, totaling 37,000, along with a choir of 800 children, and around 2,000 international performers from 21 countries will contribute to creating exceptional musical performances.

Keeping this tradition alive through the turbulent times of the 20th century until today, this year's festival showcases traditional Lithuanian song and dance while also marking a century of cultural resilience and national pride. Furthermore, the Song Celebration, recognized by UNESCO, played a crucial role during the massive peaceful movement of the Singing Revolution, aiding Lithuania’s break from Soviet rule and the restoration of the country’s independence. This year, the event also celebrates the recent UNESCO recognition of the traditional straw gardens, a cherished symbol of the festival.

Music festival As Young As Vilnius (25 July)

The As Young As Vilnius music festival is set to take place on July 25. Held on Christopher's Day, the celebration pays homage to Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers and Vilnius itself. This open-air concert, taking place in Vingis Park, promises a day filled with musical diversity, appealing to a broad audience with performances ranging from classical orchestras to contemporary pop and rock musicians. Last year's highlights included opera singers like Edgaras Montvidas, one of the most well-recognised opera performers in the country as well as pop singers like Monika Liu, a Lithuanian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022, and Jessica Shy, a rapidly rising music star highly acknowledged by the younger generation.

Christopher Summer Festival (July-August)

For a whole two months, Vilnius will live to the rhythm of the Christopher Summer Festival. This will give you enough time to visit more than 40 original events presenting a wide spectrum of music, where classical music masterpieces are intertwined with jazz or experimental projects, and traditional instruments resound anew. The festival will feature internationally acclaimed musicians and the latest European music trends. One moment music will be playing in halls, and the next – on a ship sailing down the Neris or in one of Vilnius’s many parks.